The combination of the appealing Nia Vardalos (My Big Fat Greek Wedding) and the breathtaking location shooting in Greece makeMy Life in Ruinsthe perfect film escape. The film works as a feather-light romantic comedy, with Vardalos's character, Georgia, facing burnout in her job with a cut-rate tour company in Greece. Georgia knows there's magic in the Greek countryside and history, yet the grind of her job has drained her. Happily for Georgia, her latest group of semi-challenging tourists will help her shed some of her hard-built personal armor, guiding her to cut loose as the tour progresses (a journey mirrored in Vardalos's hairstyle, which starts out prim, and ends up attractively tousled). The strong supporting cast includes Richard Dreyfus--seeming very comfortable playing an old coot--Rachel Dratch, Rita Wilson, and the dreamy Greek actor Alexis Georgoulis, a bus driver with the soul of a poet. And possibly a secret crush on the oblivious Georgia. But the true star of the film is Greece itself, from the coastline to the mountains, from the Acropolis to the Parthenon. That so few American films are shot on location makes this summer treat even more appealing--as sweet as fresh baklava. --A.T. Hurley
Stills from My Life in Ruins (Click for larger image)
I was pondering this question over the weekend, having been subjected to a variety of unwatchable material over the last decade. The competition in the 'worst ever' category is pretty stiff though, including abominations such as Batman & Robin, Gigli, Catwoman and The Postman (apparently sometimes called Fishtar). When you add The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen or The Mummy 4, there's some real strength in this category, making it hard to dislodge the imcumbents. … more
Georgia (Nia Vardalos) is an American living in Greece and working as a tour guide. She hates her job, thinks all tourists are idiots, and is sick of Greece, too. But on her next four-day trip everything will change for the better, thanks to the quirky members of her tour and her moody bus driver. This movie had so much potential but is really terrible. It's neither funny nor romantic and the dopey cast is always blocking our view of beautiful Greece. The plot is a lackluster … more
My Life In Ruins is the follow up movie with Nia Vardalos, My Big Fat Greek Wedding (My Big Fat Greek Wedding). Where Wedding had incredible charm, and humor; Ruins is just a bus wreck on the highways of Greece with little charm and a little bit of humor. The second act was a bit better than the first, but this is still a not good movie. Nia Vardalos plays Georgia the true Greek tour guide that wants to teach all of her tourists about the wonders and history of Greece. Her … more
Not quite Greek Wedding, this flick has its moments of charm and is at times amusing. However, it feels more like a Lifetime movie than a Hollywood blockbuster. The humor gets annoyingly sexual and predictable. For example, the bad guy in the film gives a t-shirt to someone on the "opposing side." The guy puts it on, not knowing what the Greek characters say, and becomes an instant magnet for certain locals. Turns out it was implying he was searching for a boyfriend. The romantic … more
Not quite Greek Wedding, this flick has its moments of charm and is at times amusing. However, it feels more like a Lifetime movie than a Hollywood blockbuster. The humor gets annoyingly sexual and predictable. For example, the bad guy in the film gives a t-shirt to someone on the "opposing side." The guy puts it on, not knowing what the Greek characters say, and becomes an instant magnet for certain locals. Turns out it was implying he was searching for a boyfriend. The romantic thread is predictable … more
So is My Life in Ruins as funny as the surprise hit My Big Fat Greek Wedding? Maybe not quite there, but I think it's pretty close. The jokes are funny, but the film is moving as well. Richard Dreyfuss brings a lot to the film, combining comedy with wisdom. As the characters begin to enjoy themselves on the trip to Greece, the viewer will too. Only problem: I wish the DVD had deleted scenes. I'd love to see what was spliced out.